The situation is evolving.
As Ireland faces up to the new challenge of handling a major disease outbreak, many organisations are tightening up the rules to double down on virus prevention.
The latest Cork company to ask some staff to self-isolate is Apple Computers, where an employee at the European headquarters in Hollyhill reportedly tested positive for coronavirus yesterday.
As Ireland battles through the containment stage, Alone has opened an information helpline for older people who have concerns or questions about Covid-19 (0818 222 024).
Here are five more things to know today:
1. Funerals of coronavirus victims to be postponed
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors has advised its members to insist that anyone who dies from coronavirus should be buried or cremated immediately, with funeral and memorial services held at a later date.
The Association recommended that arrangements should be made over the phone and that relatives of the deceased “should not be permitted to attend the funeral director’s offices or funeral homes”.
A number of hygiene rules were also put in place to protect funeral directors and their staff, including a recommendation that deceased coronavirus victims should be immediately placed in a body bag that is sealed and never reopened.
2. Italy on lockdown
With 10,000 people infected with Covid-19 and 500 deaths so far, all of Italy is on lockdown, with the movement of 60m people severely restricted. British Airways has cancelled flights to the country as it struggles to contain the outbreak and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has urged Irish people to reconsider travel to any part of Italy.
“The vast majority of the 24 people who have tested positive in Ireland so far, have come from northern Italy, and they brought it home with them.” said the Minister.
1) 🇮🇹 We have updated @dfatirl #traveladvice for #Italy due to Italian government’s isolation of #Lombardy & a no. of provinces: https://t.co/UMpDlfmsxF (“Overview – Latest Travel Alert – COVID-19”). We are now advising against all #travel to #Lombardy and the isolated provinces
— DFATravelWise (@dfatravelwise) March 9, 2020
3. Cork City Library has suspended use of its public computer
The public computer in Cork City Library will be out of action temporarily in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Posting a statement on social media, Library management explained: “As a precautionary measure to reduce the possibility of cross-infection with Covid-19, we are suspending our public computer service across all our libraries. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
Public Computer Service Suspended
As a precautionary measure to reduce the possibility of cross infection with Covid-19, we are suspending our public computer service across all our libraries. We apologise for the inconvenience. pic.twitter.com/3ebSbuURX2
— Cork City Libraries (@corkcitylibrary) March 10, 2020
4. Leave your keep-cup at home for now
Starbucks has temporarily suspended the use of reusable cups in all its stores, with other outlet expected to follow suit. Disposable cups are back for now.
A statement posted on the door of a Cork Starbucks outlet in Blackpool reads: “In addition to sanitising procedures in all our stores, this is one more step we can all take to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
Our commitment to sustainability remains unchanged.”
— Patrick Hogan (@CorkBizPatrick) March 10, 2020
5. Shops charging rip-off prices for hand sanitiser
Customers have taken to social media to encourage a boycott of certain shops after some retailers were found to have raised the price of hand sanitiser to €9.99 for a 90ml bottle and drastically increased the price of surgical masks, surface sprays and other cleaning items.
Luckily, hot soapy water works just as well. The HSE advice remains: wash your hands vigorously and often.
Shame on the pharmacists, retailers and suppliers who are exploiting the crisis to make money by marking up prices on hand gels. Today gels, tomorrow food? France introduced price caps, Ireland should do too. #COVID19ireland
— Mick Barry TD (@MickBarryTD) March 10, 2020